Makeover Monday | Week 39 | 2019: San Francisco Eviction Notices

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For week 39 we are looking at eviction notices for San Francisco, leading to tenants having to vacate their homes. The original article investigates possible reasons for these evictions and finds strong indications that evictions – for whatever reason – may be linked to the tech boom and the desire by landlords to cash in on the influx of high-paid tech professionals.

The original viz looks like this:

What works well:

  • The article does a great job of explaining the reasoning for each chart and the insights drawn from it.
  • Showing a timeline of the evictions gives the audience an appreciation for individual spikes related to the economic climate at the time.
  • Limiting evictions to the top 10 neighbourhood helps to keep it simple(ish).
  • Sorting the color legend alphabetically.

What could be improved:

  • A number of the colors are impossible to distinguish from one another
  • Without interactivity and labels it is impossible to tell which line is which. Is the highest pink line Tenderloin or ‘Other’? And the spikes in green and blue, what areas do they relate to?
  • The gridlines don’t help me understand the chart any better as the lines have so much detail that I try to ignore the gridlines anyway.

What I did:

  • Having noticed a number of vizzes come through on Twitter already, I had a rough idea of where I wanted to take this. Keeping it simple once again was my approach, because work travel and personal commitments this week mean that my time for my own viz is rather limited.
  • As I am a huge fan of heatmaps, I decided to create one to show eviction numbers and pair it with additional data to show a timeline of the progress in the tech sector in Silicon Valley that may have affected the housing market in San Francisco.
  • So here is my viz:

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